WMU Supply Management Program Earns National Ranking:Making its debut in a national ranking, Western Michigan University’s Integrated Supply Management program has been named 12th among the nation’s best undergraduate supply chain management programs, sharing the slot with the University of Maryland and Stanford University. The ranking by Gartner was announced at Gartner’s June annual conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. This is the first time the 19-year-old WMU program has made the top-25 list, having previously been listed in 2009 in the “honorable mention” category. The ranking is an important step in the development of the program, according to its director, Bret Wagner.
“It’s encouraging to see that the Gartner ranking recognizes the quality of the ISM program,” Wagner said. “During its nearly 20 year history, the ISM program has used the input from the ISM Executive Council, our advisory board, to drive changes in the program and curriculum so that it stays relevant. This continuous improvement philosophy will be the key for the ISM program to move up the ranking.” Gartner’s ranking relied on evaluation of numerous factors, including industry partnerships, additional training required of graduates, curriculum and integration of information technology into the curriculum. “I have been part of the ISM Executive Council for more than 10 years. The reason I and the other council members participate is we can see that our input is valued and results in changes in the program and the curriculum that produce graduates who are well prepared for careers in supply management,” said Chris Flum, vice president for global indirect supply and procurement at Harman International and a 1986 WMU alumnus. “As an alum, it’s good to see that the hard work of the faculty and executive council members in producing a world-class supply management program is being recognized by organizations like Gartner.” In addition to industry input and continuous improvement, Wagner says that the program’s innovative curriculum and distinctive elements provide students with skills to begin supply management careers and make them “ready, day one.” The curriculum joins course work in business and engineering; incorporates extensive use of SAP ERP business software in courses; and requires project courses where students apply process improvement tools to real company problems. Penn State tops the list at No. 1 with Michigan State University at No. 5.